Security concerns after allegations from LewisGale employees

10 News is investigating an incident that allegedly involved a gun at the hospital

SALEM, VA – “If someone comes with a gun right now, it would be a slaughter. It would be a bloodbath. There’s nothing to stop them,” a LewisGale employee said.

Those are concerns brought directly to 10 News by a LewisGale hospital employee.

She wants to remain anonymous but said that last week, someone was able to not only bring a gun into the hospital but use it on themselves.

“It sounded like he had no intention of hurting anyone but himself. He brought the gun into the hospital without any issues,” the employee said.

10 News reached out to both LewisGale and the Salem police to confirm this information.

We were able to confirm a man was found dead at LewisGale last Wednesday and police are investigating, but they don’t believe it was a criminal incident. They did not say if a firearm was used or not.

The employee said that regardless, she’s concerned for safety.

“It would be incredibly easy for someone to bring in a gun and have no problems killing every single staff member in our hospital,” she said.

The employee and LewisGale confirmed there are no metal detectors in the hospital.

“Since I’ve been working, we’ve been asking for metal detectors. We’ve been told by our leaders and our higherups in HCA that it’s not good optics, it makes patients uncomfortable,” she said.

The employee also says she would feel more comfortable with better-trained security guards, or having a police officer stationed at the hospital.

“When we call security, it’s just to bring a few more bodies to the situation...It would be great to have a police officer staffed at all times,” she said.

We are continuing to reach out to LewisGale for more information on their security measures.

A Virginia Law requires the presence of at least one off-duty law enforcement officer or trained security personnel in the emergency department at all times.

LewisGale responded to our request for comment with the following:

“Last week we learned of a tragic, isolated incident that occurred on the hospital’s campus involving a member of the community. Hospital leadership responded immediately in cooperation with local police who determined there was no threat to the hospital. We offer our sincere condolences to those involved.”


About the Author:

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.